Romantic Desert Wedding Inspiration

Our enchanting desert landscape has long been a source of inspiration for artists of all kinds, including our talented friends in the wedding industry like photographers, designers and florists. For those of us who have become accustomed to our local landscape, it’s easy to take the desert for granted, but the earthy tones are the perfect canvas for a desert wedding masterpiece.

From the whimsical desert plants like yucca and cholla cactus, to the hidden elements of turquoise and burgundy clay, the possibilities are endless and this amazing styled shoot, captured by Briana Nicole Photography, is the perfect example of just how beautiful a desert southwest wedding can be. With a spin on local culture, this collaboration came together effortlessly.

For instance, the custom wedding stationery by Funky Olive Design Studio, showcased local symbols like the Zia and red chile. The amazing bouquet by Stephanie Yardman Floral Design was the perfect touch with cascading pheasant tail feathers and a mini barrel cactus. And the perfectly decorated sugar cookies by Little Sparrow Cookie Co. were everything but ordinary.

My hope for this styled wedding shoot was to show brides in the southwest that the desert can be such a beautiful place to incorporate into your wedding day. I feel like sometimes it can be overlooked because other areas have beautiful trees and greenery — I wanted to show brides that New Mexico is a beautiful place to call home. The elements in this shoot showcase some of the beautiful local culture as well as the art and to me, that’s why it stands out.

— Briana Nicole Photography

Photos by Briana Nicole Photography

Meet the professionals who helped make this styled shoot possible:

Photographer: Briana Nicole Photography, IG: @briananicolephoto | Hair + Makeup: C. Johnson Makeup, IG: @cjohnsonmakeup | Flowers: Stephanie Yardman Floral Design, IG: @stephanieyardman | Invitations: Funky Olive Design Studio, IG: @funkyolivedesign | Models: April Esquibel + Adam Sanchez, IG: @aprilmayesquibel | Dress: Bridal Elegance by Darlene, IG: @bridalelegancenm | Dessert: Little Sparrow Cookie Co., IG: @littlesparrowcc

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How to Survive Your First Bridal Appointment

It can be a daunting task. Choosing the perfect wedding gown, that is. After all, picking out your wedding dress is the second most important decision to picking out your fiancé! To help you survive this fun, but sometimes overwhelming task, we compiled a short list of tips to get you on your way.

Don’t worry, you can thank us later!

Photo by The Dressing Room West, Santa Fe

Tip #1

Don’t Get Frustrated with Your Consultant’s Nosiness

She’ll probably ask about your venue, the proposal, your theme, the colors you’ll be using and even your budget. Just keep your cool. Especially when it comes to your budget. They just want to make sure they’re on the same page as you. And they certainly don’t want you to waste 90 minutes of your precious planning time looking at gowns you hate.

Tip #2

Bring Photos

Your Pinterest wedding board (or boards, if you’re a crazy planner like we are) is quite handy! You can show your consultant gowns you like, or even gown silhouettes for a general idea. Photos will help your consultant see your vision and guide you to specific designers and dresses that will fit the bill!

Tip #3

Come Prepared

In this case, we’re not talking about your typical, “Make sure you bring a camera and a bottle of champagne!” No. What we’re talking about is underwear. Don’t get us wrong, going commando is a personal preference and we respect that. But if you don’t wear underwear, unfortunately, they can’t let you try on their gorgeous gowns.

Save yourself the headache and a trip to Victoria’s Secret. And just remember to wear full-coverage underwear to your first, second, third, fourth, and hundredth bridal appointment. We’re not joking about this.

Tip #3 1/2

Cover Up the Goods

Building on that thought, full-coverage underwear is always a very, very good idea. Consultants don’t necessarily mind what kind of underwear you wear, but they do want you to be comfortable. They will be in the dressing room with you to help you try on gowns and if you don’t want them to see you in anything revealing, take the necessary steps to cover up.

As always, you’re welcome to the disposable underwear they keep in store, though they aren’t very flattering! The upside, however, is that their disposable underwear option also saves yours from getting caught in the zipper, which tends to happen with lacy and stringy underwear. And they don’t want your expensive undies to get ripped any more than you do.

Tip #4

Leave the Entourage at Home

Because your wedding is going to be absolutely amazing, a lot of people will want to accompany you every step of the way. But it’s okay to say no! In fact, our tip number four is to actually limit the number of people you bring to your bridal appointment.

Not only can it get crowded in the store, but it can be really, really overwhelming for you as the bride (and your consultant!). Keeping your entourage to one or two trustworthy, honest and supportive peeps is the best thing to keep the experience fun and fruitful — as it should be.

Plus, if your loudly opinionated Aunt Betty insists on coming with you, simply make a separate appointment after you decide on a gown. That way, she’ll still get a sneak peak and feel included. You can even make 200 appointments just to try on the same gown, they don’t mind at all.

Tip #5


Our last tip probably should have been #1 because it is very, very important. And we get it, we really do. You don’t want to be bloated, or sluggish while you’re trying on gowns, but please trust us when we say you must eat. You’ll be in and out of heavy gowns very quickly and it can get pretty warm beneath all those layers of tulle. In fact, some consultants have actually had girls pass out mid-appointment, because all they had that day was a venti caramel macchiato. Don’t be that girl!

Photo by Bridal Elegance By Darlene, K. Mari Photography

To recap, here’s what you need for your appointment: food, underwear, your two best friends and an idea of what you want. Yes, that is in descending order of importance. In fact, if all you do is eat a full meal and wear underwear, you’ll probably have a pretty successful shopping trip.

Good luck! And make sure to try the amazing bridal shops we have right here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at:

Behind-the-Scenes: Diamond Dash Wedding Show

While most of us were still counting sheep the morning of the Diamond Dash Wedding Show (earlier this month), the Perfect Wedding Guide crew was busy with all the preparations by the time we rolled out of bed and shuffled our way to the kitchen for our morning java. Lucky for me, I had the great pleasure of joining my comrades later in the day for a behind-the-scenes look at our Diamond Dash Wedding Show. As you might imagine, setting up for a wedding show takes lots of hard work, but the PWG crew doesn’t mess around! To maintain the well-oiled machine of the Diamond Dash, it took countless cups of coffee to keep up with all its moving parts. By the end of the day, however, the caffeine hangover was definitely worth it!

It was such a pleasure to see and participate in all the action of the Diamond Dash. As the wedding show came underway, I got to mingle with happy brides-to-be and explore the various displays and vendors throughout the showroom. Among them were the gals from Pennysmiths Paper, who specialize in the most beautiful wedding stationery this side of the Mississippi! In addition, Charlotte’s Flowers was present with their elegant silk flower arrangements. At the same time, some lucky ladies were pampered by Bliss Salon & Spa. And who could forget the amazing fashion show by Bridal Elegance? Darlene’s dresses were absolutely breathtaking!

Pennysmiths Paper
Charlotte’s Flowers
Bliss Salon & Spa
Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Don’t miss out on our next wedding show, Bride’s Night Out, coming up this June at Hotel Andaluz!

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5 Trends on Their Way Out

Along with the top trends of the season, The Wedding Report also gave us the skinny on some not-so-hot trends that no longer make the cut. To help you on your planning adventure, we’ve compiled a list of five trends on their way out.

Chalk Effect Invitations

We all love chalk, it takes us back to our days of sidewalk chalk and hopscotch. Sadly, however, there is no longer a place for it on the wedding scene — at least when it comes to invitations. So, unless you want your invite to mimic a bistro menu, or worse, a grade school bulletin, the chalk effect has got to go!

All Green Wedding Pallet

While the all green wedding pallet is beautiful in a hunting, camouflage kind of way, 78% of brides would rather break up the sea of green with other hues to complement their wedding ambiance.

Potted Succulent Favors

Although they make for beautiful décor, succulents are not the best of favors. And if your guests are anything like me, they are probably succulent challenged. Give one as a favor and that potted, little plant will probably be tossed into the trash heap faster than you can toss your bouquet at the screaming mob of maidens fantasizing about marrying the best man!

Singing Performances

I don’t know about you, but I am happy this one is on the list! I have been to many a wedding and there is nothing more awkward than sitting through a tone-deaf singing performance. All the while, secretly wishing it was over as you nervously try not to look your fellow guest in the eye. On a personal note, however, the only exception is a mariachi band! (Insert “laugh-cry” here.)

Kiss the Second Look Wedding Dress Goodbye!

Let’s face it, the dress is one of the most important details — if not, the most important detail — of the wedding. Besides the free food, guests come to see the bride. Not to mention, this is one of the only days you get to dress like a princess without looking like a crazy person, so don’t waste it! Trust me, I’m still waiting for a good excuse to flaunt about in my gown for a second time!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at:

{Wedding Veteran} Laura Sheppherd Bridal

Lara Shepphard

Laura Sheppherd Bridal 

(505) 986-1444

65 West Marcy Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Our Spring/Summer issue of the Albuquerque & Santa Fe Perfect Wedding Guide is now available! View the new issue at The Perfect Wedding Guide.

Brides Against Breast Cancer Charity Wedding Gown Sale March 21st and 22nd

Please click on the image to view more information about the Brides Against Breast Cancer Charity Wedding Gown Sale
Please click on the image to view more information about the Brides Against Breast Cancer Charity Wedding Gown Sale

The Perfect Wedding Guide is proud to be sponsoring the Brides Against Breast Cancer Charity Wedding Gown Sale on March 21st and 22nd, 2014 at the Hotel Cascada! The VIP Event will be March 21st from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM. General Admission will be March 22nd, from 10 AM to 4:00 PM.

Hundreds of new and lovingly worn designer gowns will be on sale. There will also be giveaways and the opportunity to meet great local wedding vendors at the event.

Tickets are required to attend this fabulous event. Bring your friends and please attend in support of Brides Against Breast Cancer. Please to register!

For more upcoming events and for everything else you need to plan your wedding, please visit The Perfect Wedding Guide.

Bridal attire from around the world.

Lately,  I have been very curious about what brides from around the world wear as their  traditional wedding gown or garment.I did some research and found some very beautiful and unique brides.

Hopefully, these images will  inspire you to incorporate some of your own heritage into your wedding plans.

Take a look!

Mexican Bride
Chinese Bride
Arabian Bride
Spanish Bride
Irish Bride
Indian Bride
Traditional Peruvian Bride
Nigerian Bride
Korean Bride
Japanese Bride



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Wednesday Wedding Inspiration: A Mexican Adventure

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